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No Left Turns

Osama’s Star Turn, Take Two

Quite a number of NLT discussants are incensed over my post blow, The NYT Speaks: Osama Listens. (See the comments thread.) Well, they better fire up their indignation engines for David Brooks’ comments on the New Hour the other night:

But you read this thing, and it’s like he’s been sitting around reading lefty blogs, and he’s one of these childish people posting rants at the bottom the page, you know, Noam Chomsky and all this stuff.

You can’t help read it and not laugh at it, occasionally, because it is just absurd. It’s flying this way, and that way, weird conspiracy theories, and mortgages, global warming. He throws it all in there.

The one thing that leapt out -- and Bruce Hoffman and the others mentioned this -- was how Western it is. And a friend of mine, Reuel Gerecht, points out that there’s this argument that Western ideas never permeated into the Arab world, but in fact it’s all -- I mean, a lot of the worst ideas from the West have permeated in, and he’s picked up Noam Chomsky, and he’s picked up some of the anti-globalization stuff. And that’s what infuses this.

Discussions - 10 Comments

I don't understand. Does Hayward think he and Brooks said the same thing?

Steve, David Brooks missed a point. Bin laden is motivated by an inner dynamic of islam/jihad. The reason he's making these hard left arguments is to divide the West. Not because he, himself, believes any of this nonsense. He's a jihadist; he's not a confused muslim with Western leanings, albeit hard Left leanings. It needs to be recalled by one and all, Islam has specialized in dividing their enemies and absorbing them, one by one.

In a straight up battle against the West, islam would be crushed. Thus they need to rely upon infiltration, immigration, they have to rely upon 5th column multiculturals sowing seeds of degeneracy and defeatism. What bin laden is attempting to do is prep the battlespace. And the true battlespace has always been the dialogue in the West. Mohammad laid out a blueprint for conquest, but not just territorial conquest. He really understood the psychology of war, and the benefits of confusing and thus paralyzing his enemies. That's why they're keen on captives, ransom demands, ransom negotiations, rape, gang rape. Those are ways of inflicting psychological prostration in a foe.

He's repeating Lefty talking points because he's well aware that by doing so, he's making himself more palatable to many in the West.

Didn't that kook Keith Olberman just say that Fox News was more dangerous than bin laden. That's just a single for instance of course, but Olberman has his own show, and is now featured on Sunday Night Football with Costas and Chris Collingsoworth.

Dan -

[bin Laden] is repeating Lefty talking points because he's well aware that by doing so, he's making himself more palatable to many in the West.

Yes, of course. But I also think Jihadist Islam inherits a toxic mix of Western ideas from the past. I'm with Berman and others on that.

Yea, that's Berman's point. And I was persuaded for a while. But I started reading more about islam, which led me to conclude that Berman doesn't fully grasp the enormity of islam. Berman mistook a Western gloss for substance. But Berman's work is certainly thought provoking.

I think Berman's point more persuasive when confined to muslim terrorists of the 1950's, '60's and '70's. Groups like the FLN, the PFLP, they jive with Berman's thesis. But Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda, they're not motivated by Marxism, nor Nationalism. They flow from islam, they're driven by the obligation of jihad.

OK: interesting. What sources do you recommend?

Which is it, Steve: (1) your argument, "the Left" should be embarrassed because some crackpot distorts its arguments, or (2) Brooks's argument, that the one doing the distorting is a childish nut? I agree with the second, but the first is still lame and itself embarrassing. Perhaps you'll make the same argument about the distortion of Republican positions by National Vanguard, or by Stormfront.

Brett -Well posed, for Steve Hayward.

The problem isn't that bin laden "distorts" the arguments of the Left. The problem is that he thoroughly understands and parrots them. He doesn't believe in 'em of course, but that doesn't mean he doesn't understand them, and doesn't understand how he can piggy-back his agenda upon the longstanding detestation that the Left has had for traditional values, Christianity and the West in general.

I'm not sure STEVE if you're asking me for a list of books to read. I'll tell you where it began for me though, Andrew Bostom's THE LEGACY OF JIHAD. From there I went to the works of Bat Yeor.

Yes, thank you.

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